Saturday, February 10, 2007

There’s a $25,000/person meal being served tonight at a Bangkok hotel (six world-class chefs, fixing grub for 40 invitation-only "epicurean masters," with $500/bottle champagne and a choice among 10 of the finest wines in the world). You don’t want Yr Editor to tell you how many African children will actually die tonight during the hours of the meal because their only drinking water is basically feces soup.

Campaigning against "hate speech" is so inconvenient: Massachusetts state senator Scott Brown is a leading opponent of the state’s legalization of gay marriage and appeared at a high school in Wrentham to discuss the issue. Yr Editor wasn’t there but imagines that at least some people spoke to him about "tolerance" and "stop the hate." Brown then read aloud student messages about him (posted to a Facebook.com page of a pro-gay-marriage teacher at the school), including profanities and negative references to Brown’s daughter (and read the names of the people who posted the comments). Hey, that’s not fair, the opposition screamed.

Riddle Me This: How is Yr Editor to evaluate the story of the über-heroic San Franciscan Michael Keenan, who ran back into a flaming building to save his friend’s dog, which might still die anyway, and now Keenan has a 50-50 chance, himself (and if he makes it, it will only be after going through a living hell). (And it was his second remarkable rescue job in six years.) On the one hand, what a selfless person, and a far, far better human than I! On the other hand, it’s the faintest of lines that separates him from a mid-list mention in any year’s Thinning the Herds.

Inside NOTW
Yr Editor announces the NOTW Reporters’ Hall of Fame, to honor those hard-working stiffs with highly-refined and continuously-tuned noses for the most delicious stories on their respective beats. These are the bylines that, once spotted, bring Yr Editor to life like an Uma Thurman Slap in the Face. The first two inductees, ta-daaaaa, are Tom Alex of the Des Moines Register (consistently a sentinel, alert to above-average criminal stupidity) and R. Scott Moxley of the OC Weekly (Santa Ana, Calif.) (heroically wallowing in Orange County sex gone bad). Congratulations.

Below The Fold
A bodybuilder is suing Pat Robertson for not cutting him in on the money Pat got when he commercially licensed his miracle drinks, and last week the bodybuilder said Rev. Pat (when he showed up for a deposition) threatened to kill him . . . . . An "I left the kids in the car because I was busy" two-fer: a Sheboygan, Wis., mother needing a tanning session (two kids in 12-degree, minus-2 wind chill) and a suburban Minneapolis dad needing to "win some money" at blackjack (minus-7 degrees, minus-22 wind chill, and the kid nearly died) . . . . . Speaking of Sheboygan, and the cold snap, they had to close Interstate 43 on Thursday after it became impassable because of sno—wait, because of cow intestines that spilled from a semi . . . . . A performance artist, still going strong at age 78, lost his appeal over his counterintuitive 2006 hammer attack on one of Duchamp’s famous urinals . . . . . Joanne Harding reached into the candy jar at the Abington, Mass., town clerk’s office, took out a Tootsie Roll, wound up breaking her tooth on it, and now of course is suing the town . . . . . Two anti-whaling activists, intending to mess up a Japanese whaler near Antarctica, got lost in the fog in their little dinghy, were rescued with the help of the whaler, and then immediately resumed their mission and messed up the whaler . . . . . Recurring Theme, but worse: A Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center van dumped a just-released crippled patient back where they think he lives, on Los Angeles’s skid row, broken colostomy bag and all.